Supreme Court Affirms Right to Defend as a Fundamental Right

LI Network

Published on: February 17, 2024 at 12:45 IST

The Supreme Court emphasized that the right to defend oneself is a fundamental right protected by the Constitution of India.

The Court, comprised of Justices Vikram Nath and Satish Chandra Sharma, made this observation while addressing a Writ Petition filed under Article 32 of the Constitution.

The petitioner, appearing in person, sought to challenge the resolution passed by the Mysore Bar Association on March 16, 2019, prohibiting its members from filing a ‘vakalatnama’ on behalf of the petitioner.

Despite serving notice to the Mysore Bar Association (Respondent No. 3), no representation was made on behalf of the Bar Association during the proceedings.

After reviewing the impugned resolution, the Court unequivocally stated that such a resolution could not have been legitimately passed. Consequently, the Court proceeded ex-parte and annulled the resolution enacted by the Bar Association of Mysore.

In that view of the matter, we have proceeded ex-parte. Having. Right to defend oneself is a Fundamental Right under Part III of the Constitution of India, and further right to appear for a client is also a Fundamental Right being a part of carrying on one’s profession as a lawyer. As such, the said Resolution is hereby quashed.”

In line with this stance, the Court granted relief to the petitioner by allowing the writ petition.

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